THINKING AHEAD: Novotel Newcastle Beach executive chef Chris Stanley. Picture: Ryan OslandPERHAPS you’ve been planning for a while or maybe you’re newly engaged (it’s just a week after Valentine’s Day after all).
Either way, for many the first step in wedding planning is actually the engagement party.
Novotel Newcastle Beach is holding a Bespoke Wedding Open Day on Sunday.
Executive chef Chris Stanley offered some advice on planning an engagement party.
What are the first steps in planning a menu for an engagement party?
One of the first considerations in planning the menu is the length of the function.
The longer the scheduled function is, the more substantial the menu can be.
A party of a few hours can suffice with canapes, while a function of a longer duration can include savoury and sweet options all the way up to a three-course dinner.
Is it best to go for finger food options at an event like an engagement party?
I think finger food or canapes encourage more interaction between the guests, and can also be anything from back tie to super-casual.
Our high teas also tend to be very social and lively.
Do you need to take into account special diets, such as vegetarian or gluten-free?
Absolutely. Things like gluten-free and vegetarian are becoming more ‘‘normal’’ than ‘‘special requests’’.
And, if you offer these options to your guests within the menu, you will be sure that everyone feels they have been catered for.
Should the food reflect the couple getting married?
Yes, it’s all about the couple. If you can’t indulge your favourites now, when can you? And we love to tailor the menu to make it more personal.
Can you choose a theme for your food?
Theming of a menu is always exciting and we are happy to accommodate. It always invigorates the kitchen team to think up new, interesting menu items and send different dishes out once in a while. Being near the beach, we get a lot of requests for that kind of theme – seafood and champagne – you can’t go wrong.
The Bespoke Wedding Open Day is on Sunday. Complimentary admission, canapes and drinks included. View venues for receptions, engagement parties, bridal showers and even the Honeymoon Suite.